In Pursuit of the Dream explores the insightful and critical perspectives of Texas-based artists Fernando Andrade, Tom Birkner, and Gil Rocha. Focusing on the complexity of everyday life, the artists reflect on memory, loss, violence, and love.
Born in Acuña, Mexico and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Fernando Andrade’s reflective imagery captures the emotional complexity of the immigrant experience. In his sensitive storytelling, Andrade emphasizes humanity, isolation, mental health and loss.
Andrade graduated from San Antonio College in 2008 and has received numerous honors including Fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and most recently, the International Artist Residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. His work is in the collections of the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Argo Group and numerous private collections.
New Jersey-born Tom Birkner has focused on capturing the world around him––the working-class suburbs and sprawl of post-industrial America. While formally trained, Birkner’s practice began early, as he closely observed football games, malls excursions, amusement parks visits, and the other diversions of everyday life in the suburbs. He says, “I like painting things that appear visually as people see the world. I find subjects for painting in vignettes and scenarios that occur by accident.”
Birkner received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University. He is a two-time recipient of the New Jersey State Council on The Arts Fellowship, and his work was recently exhibited at the El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas and Centro Cultural de las Fronteras, Juárez, Mexico. He has been featured in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and has earned reviews in the New York Times and ARTnews.
Gil Rocha is a contemporary artist born and raised in Laredo, Texas. His art practice in and out of his studio encompasses a variety of techniques, including assemblage, painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation. His work expresses the lexicon of the Mexican-American border and the many social/political issues that derive from it. Rocha earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1999.